Apr 7, 2011, 6:00 PM EDT
So that big Bull against Magic game for Sunday just got a lot less interesting.
Dwight Howard’s technical for throwing the ball Wednesday after being called for a foul for shooting slow free throws has been upheld by the league.
He is suspended from Sunday’s game because this is his 18th technical this season. Players serve a suspension for technical number 16 (Howard served that back on March 7) and every two after that.
The slow free throw call did not sit well with Howard and he complained about it after the game. He’s right and he’s wrong. Thing is, he got called for this same thing back on Christmas Day against Boston (and got a technical for his reaction then, too). This is a pattern. He has to speed up his free throw shooting routine.
You can bet your paycheck that in the playoffs opposing teams will be all over the refs to call this. You can expect crowds in some cities to chant/count to 10. This is going to get bigger, not smaller. What’s more, when he gets called for this (or any other foul or non-call, fair or not) he has to control his reaction. That us usually what draws his technicals. Orlando is not going to win in the playoffs without him, and while the technical counter resets at the start of the playoffs he only needs to get to seven to be suspended again.
But Howard and Stan Van Gundy were right in their post game comments that the 10-second rule is called inconsistently. It’s not that hard for a referee to make the count, it should happen every time or not at all. Enforce the rule or don’t, but spare us the selective stuff.
All that is talk. What matters is no Howard Sunday.